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Canadian cyclist Mike Woods returns from broken femur

SIENA, Italy — Canadian cyclist Mike Woods made his return from injury Saturday at Strade Bianche, helping teammate Alberto Bettiol to a fourth-place finish as the World Tour resumed.

Woods broke his femur March 12 in a high-speed crash at Paris-Niche, just before the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the cycling world.

The EF Pro Cycling team member was originally aiming to compete Aug. 12 in the Criterium du Dauphine, which is the precursor to the Aug. 29 start of the Tour de France, but was ready to go for Saturday's one-day race.

"Today went pretty well for me. My legs felt really good but obviously it was a bit nervous initially in the peloton. This race was just crazy from the get go," said the 33-year-old from Ottawa. "So for me, just getting over, getting through that and finishing was a big accomplishment considering I broke my femur five months ago."

Woods believes that racing will only get easier for him now that the first one is done.

"I think this will probably be the scariest race all season for me and to get through it with no problems and to feel confident in my bike handling skills gives me confidence for the races to come," said Woods.

Belgian Wout van Aert of Team Jumbo–Visma won the race.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published on August 1, 2020.

The Canadian Press